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HELP BRING GREEN JOBS TO MISSOURI -- from Henry Robertson
Tell your state senator and rep to vote NO on SCR 1 and HCR 5.
 
I'm sure you all voted for Proposition C, the Renewable Energy Standard, in November 2008. A lot of you worked on the campaign. It passed with 66% of the vote. Prop C lets utilities generate or purchase renewable power, or buy Renewable Energy Credits (RECs), which represent renewable energy generated by someone else.
 
Last summer the Public Service Commission issued its rules for Prop C. In 2 significant paragraphs, it said that any RECs bought by Missouri's utilities must represent energy sold to Missouri consumers. This means our renewable energy dollars would go to companies in Missouri or close enough that they could easily invest in Missouri projects.
 
The Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) is a standing committee of the legislature that claims the power to veto administrative rules. On July 1, JCAR, at the bidding of the utilities, struck down the two "geographic sourcing" paragraphs. As it stands, the utilities can buy RECs from anywhere in the country, with no benefit to Missouri.
 
But JCAR's decision is a dead letter unless the full legislature ratifies its decision by passing concurrent resolutions. That's what Senate Concurrent Resolution 1 (SCR 1) and House Concurrent Resolution 5 (HCR 5) would do. They will be voted on later this month.
 
Write your Senator and Representative and urge them to vote NO on SCR1 and HCR 5.

You can also call your legislators. Click here to find yours .


Energy Efficiency Tax Incentives--Changes for 2011
The tax package President Obama signed into law last month has modifications and extensions for energy efficiency tax incentives for homeowners, home builders, and appliance manufacturers. Information about these incentives is on this website: Tax Incentives Assistance Project (TIAP) .

The new legislation includes a one-year extension and revisions for manufacturers of energy-efficient appliances. The coverage for new home builders is for both 2010 and 2011. There is a one year extension for home retrofits but there are important modifications from the 2010 incentives.

(Thanks to American Council for Energy Efficient Economy for this update.)

 
EMG Conservation Committee Meeting

Tuesday, Feb 08, 2011, 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM
EMG Office, 7164 Manchester, Maplewood, MO 63143 (map)

We will hear reports on LaBarque Creek watershed and ongoing events at the Missouri-Mississippi Confluence.

There will also be a report and discussion of US Forest Service and US Fish & Wildlife climate change strategies. Both include ongoing work on Mitigation and Adaptation as well as plans to inform and work with the public.

There will be an update on recent changes in national Sierra Club conservation programs and possibly an update on 2011 chapter conservation campaigns.

For more information contact Becky Denney at 314-645-3394. Check out our meetings calendar at EMG Meetings Calendar.


WHAT IS EPA DOING ABOUT GREENHOUSE GASES?-- from National Sierra Club
Because of prodding by the Sierra Club and our allies (including numerous state governments like New York and California) EPA is now using its Clean Air Act authority to begin addressing catastrophic climate change.

The first major development is a requirement for greenhouse gas (GHG) permit limits for new and modified sources, which became effective on January 2, 2011.  EPA adopted the "Tailoring Rule" to phase in GHG permitting over the next few years, starting with the largest sources.  It will require new and modified major sources of GHGs (e.g. over 75,000 tons per year emitted) to obtain construction permits ("PSD permits") specifically targeting their GHG emissions.  These permits will obligate companies to reduce GHG emissions by applying the "best available control technology."

For most facilities, this will mean making design and equipment changes that increase efficiency and reduce fuel use.  A whole slew of industry special interests have sued to block GHG permiting and the Tailoring Rule, and the case is pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals in D.C.  A final decision from the court will not be issued until mid-to-late 2011.

In late 2010 there were settlements between the Sierra Club, its allies and EPA, setting deadlines for "New Source Performance Standards" (NSPS) for large power plants and refineries, which collectively make up the majority of GHGs emitted by industry (cars and trucks and agriculture are also large contributors). These settlements grew out of litigation brought by the Club and our allies in the wake of the Supreme Court's decision in Massachusetts v. EPA (a case the Club spearheaded). 

The NSPS for power plants and refineries will undergo extensive technical and legal comment periods throughout 2011 and 2012.  We expect and will prod EPA to require such facilities to adopt the most state-of-the-art technology to stem their GHG pollution.  The Sierra Club will marshall scientists and lawyers to build the best case for the most stringent NSPS for these sectors. 

Our success will also depend on a widespread show of public and political support for strong action by EPA.

LaBarque Creek Natural Area -- from Mike Leahy, Natural Areas Coordinator 
LaBarque Creek Natural AreaLaBarque Creek Natural Area is a 639 acre natural area in Jefferson County that encompasses the entire LaBarque Creek Conservation Area.  This area lies at the heart of the LaBarque Creek Conservation Opportunity Area. 

LaBarque Creek supports 36 native fish species (including five native darters) -- the highest diversity of native fishes found in tributaries to the Meramec River in Jefferson and St. Louis counties.  Just over a mile of this creek and its riparian corridor forms the northern boundary of the natural area.  The natural area also contains a mix of over a dozen terrestrial natural communities that collectively support 499 vascular plant species, 115 moss and liverwort species, and 49 breeding bird species.  Natural communities range from sandstone glades through dolomite woodlands to moist sandstone cliffs.  Numerous scenic wet-weather waterfalls, box canyons and cliffs are carved in the area’s sandstone bedrock.  Nine species of conservation concern occur on the site. 

A nice three mile primitive hiking trail allows public access to the area.  However a map is recommended to explore the area. Do note that firearms and archery turkey and deer hunting are allowed, so be aware of these activities and seasons.  To access the area:  From Eureka, take Highway 109 south to Highway FF, then west to Highway F, then south approximately 100 feet, then west on Doc Sargent Road, then about .50 mile to Valley Drive, and south to the parking lot.  For more information on the property or for volunteer opportunities contact the Conservation Department office at 636-441-4554.


Volunteer Opportunity in LeBarque Watershed

LeBarque WatershedThe Lum Miller Hollow Project is sponsored by the Labarque Watershed Stream Team partnership with Missouri Master Naturalist Confluence Chapter. It is funded by a USF&WS grant. Missouri State Parks are advisors on the project. It is a conservation project involving trail, grassland, woodland and glade projects.

The near term goal is the removal, stacking and burning of downed Eastern Redcedar material. Volunteer dates include Thursdays and a few Saturdays through the end of March.  The work will be done in Don Robinson State Park, in the Labarque Creek Conservation Opportunity Area. For details Bob Coffing can be reached at 314-488-4013.


THE NATURAL AREAS WEBSITE 
For more information on Missouri's Natural Areas Program see this website.  Also, a new book, Discover Missouri Natural Areas -- A Guide to 50 Great Places, will be available for sale at Powder Valley Nature Center and the online Nature Shop of the Conservation Department this spring.


GENTLE HIKES
Member Gloria Broderick has an interest in GENTLE HIKES since she is unable to keep up on strenuous hikes over hill and dale.  She has located some flat, paved wooded areas all over St. Louis.  She will also ask a number of different organizations to help identify the flora on these hikes to add interest. If you are interested in GENTLE HIKES that take about an hour, in an interesting part of St. Louis, send an email to gloriavern@sbcglobal.net.

 

Visit the Eastern Missouri Group website for more information about outings, activities and issues.

Please consider making a donation to the Eastern Missouri Group today!

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The Urban Agriculture Committee of Eastern Missouri Group seeks to fill niches in the food security and local organic gardening efforts of other organizations in the St. Louis metro area. One such niche is a "backyard organic food swap" in Pine Lawn, where one of our members lives.  This 1st-tier suburb of St. Louis City lies directly between I-70 and Natural Bridge Road. We have applied for one of national Sierra Club's $500 mini-grants to do soil sampling to determine if this community's soil is free from toxic elements, and if so, what kinds of soil amendments are needed. If initial tests show the soil isn't safe, remaining funds would be used to build raised beds.  We invite you to "join our committee" via the on-line Activist Network to show your support, comment on-line about our activities, and/or give us advice.  Read about us here: http://connect.sierraclub.org/Team/Urban_Agriculture_Committee.

Member Sheila Pryor is an experienced backyard organic gardener despite her young age.  In November Sheila received an award for promoting community relationships. The award was bestowed by EarthDance, an organic farming enterprise that teaches interns how to grow and market organic fruits and vegetables.  Sheila will be our Committee's consultant on this project in Pine Lawn.

For the past 3 months 9 of our core committee members have also been volunteering approximately every other Tuesday morning with the gardening curriculum at Gateway Math, Science & Technology Elementary School in the City of St. Louis where a 10th member of our core committee teaches pre-school.  We invite you to join us.  Please contact Committee Chair Ginger Harris at gngr8s@gmail.com for dates, times and directions.  Our "meeting" on Dec.21 will be at a different location and possibly a different time from our normal 10:00 a.m. start time.

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Sierra Club - Eastern Missouri Group
7164 Manchester Ave.
Maplewood, MO 63143 314-644-0890
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